Proper tire alignment helps boost fuel economy, extends the life of your tires, and improves vehicle safety.
Approximately 664 motor vehicle fatalities in 2020 were caused by tire-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One way to ensure you and your passengers are safe on the road is to make sure your tires are properly aligned. Your tires may fall out of alignment when you hit a pothole or bump a curb. Poor shocks and struts can also cause problems with tire alignment. Having your tires properly aligned will ensure ideal handling and allow you to have a smooth ride.
Regular tire maintenance can also help save you money. On average, customers pay about $167 per tire, according to Consumer Reports. Tire alignment can help extend the life of your tires and allow you to avoid costly replacement.
Signs It's Time for a Tire Alignment
Milex Complete Auto Care recommends having the tires on your car aligned every 6,000 miles, or as soon as you see a sign your alignment might be off. Getting your tires aligned is inexpensive and takes under an hour for a good mechanic to get the job done. Here are some of the most common signs it’s time to get your tires aligned.
Drifting or Pulling. If your vehicle pulls toward the side of the road, it’s a sure sign your tires need to be aligned. Test your alignment by briefly letting go of the steering wheel as you drive on a flat, even surface. If your car drifts to the side, your alignment is off.
Uneven Wear on Tires. Take a good look at your tires and use a coin to measure the depth of the tread around your tires. If the tread depth varies or if it appears to be wearing unevenly, your alignment needs to be checked out. Squealing tires are another common sign of a tire alignment issue.
Steering Wheel Vibrates. If you notice that your steering wheel vibrates as you drive, it’s a good idea to get your alignment checked out. Another common sign of an alignment issue is if your steering wheel feels loose. If you feel like you have to turn harder to get the desired result, it’s time to visit a mechanic.
Tips to Extend Life of Tires
Getting your tires regularly aligned is only one way to help your tires last. Milex Complete Auto Care has some additional steps to help your tires last.
- Rotate Tires. Make sure to get your tires rotated regularly to alleviate subtle differences in wear. Milex recommends getting your tires rotated every 5,000 miles.
- Balance Tires. Balancing the tires corrects the weight imbalance and helps prevent excessive tire wear, vibration, and suspension damage.
- Practice Good Driving Habits. Stomping on the brakes and putting the pedal to the metal can damage your tires. Avoid aggressive driving and get in the habit of accelerating slowly to make your tires withstand the test of time.
- Maintain Air Pressure. Use an inexpensive tire gauge to make sure the air pressure is up to par on your tires once a month. Under or over-inflated tires can wear unevenly and cause unsafe driving conditions.
Even if you take proper care of your car’s tires, they will inevitably need to be replaced. Milex recommends replacing your tires at least every 50,000 miles. To play it safe, the NHTSA recommends replacing your tires every six years regardless of what the mileage on your odometer reads. If you are in the market for new tires, make sure you are getting a high-quality set with safety in mind. The NHTSA recommends using its Uniform Tire Quality Grading System to compare tire treadwear, traction performance, and temperature resistance when shopping for new tires.
Visit Milex Complete Auto Care to find a location near you and schedule an appointment for tire maintenance today.